SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

October 22, 2010 12:34 ET

Targeted MRI Would Revolutionize Imaging Market, Kalorama Says

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 22, 2010) -  Targeted MRI imaging, a technology in development that would reveal specific disease indicators present in a patient to clinicians at the molecular level, would dramatically improve demand for imaging procedures, according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information. In its recent report "Medical Imaging Markets: Contrast Agents," Kalorama found that if the type of targeted agents now available for SPECT training were applied to MRI and ultrasound in a clinical setting, the world market for contrast agents would see a dramatic increase.

"The development of targeted MRI contrast agents that are directed to specific molecular entities could dramatically expand the range of MRI market applications by combining the noninvasiveness and high spatial resolution of MRI with the specific localization of molecular targets," said Joe Constance, Kalorama analyst and author of the report. "The technologies have the potential to make imaging definitive for a range of clinical applications such as the detection of tumors and heart disease."

Targeted imaging involves adding special molecules to imaging agents that can attach directly to specific molecular entities. The approach combines the efficacy of a contrast agent with an adhesion molecule in order to target the contrast directly to the desired target. The imaging approach differs depending on whether the target is a single disease control point (a specific receptor or transport protein linked to the mechanistic activity of a drug) or a general disease control point applicable to a number of treatment paradigms (proliferation, angiogenesis or inflammation).

Currently, there are no targeted MRI contrast agents available for specific imaging of tumor and cardiovascular diseases, but many MRI applications are under development, according to the report. However, several targeted SPECT imaging agents are available for clinical applications. Due to the intrinsically low sensitivity of MRI, in comparison with nuclear imaging, high concentrations of the contrast agent at the target site would be required, along with high affinity and specificity of cell recognition. Scientists have successfully targeted MRI and nuclear medicine contrast agents to the αvΒ3 integrin, permitting non-invasive monitoring of angiogenesis.

In some instances, the targeted approach may require the use of less contrast. Differential contrast in soft tissues depends on endogenous differences in water content, relaxation times or the diffusion characteristics of the tissue of interest. Gadolinium chelates, for instance, have been successfully used for imaging hemodynamic parameters, including blood perfusion and vascular permeability. 

Kalorama estimated the 2010 market for all contrast media at over $7.5 billion. The firm sees reasonable growth rates based on existing market conditions, but says that a trend such as targeting agents could substantially increase revenue potential for companies in this industry. 

Kalorama Information's "Medical Imaging Markets: Contrast Agents" discusses various agents and the companies that manufacture them. More information on the report is available at:

About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information supplies the latest in independent market research in the life sciences, as well as a full range of custom research services. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter ( and LinkedIn (

Contact Information